ZM and Tamiya P-51 pictures, side by side

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ZM and Tamiya P-51 pictures, side by side

Joined: February 25th, 2012, 1:39 am

July 15th, 2012, 4:34 am #1

My Zoukei-Mura P-51D arrived Friday, and it looks pretty much as I expected: not quite as nice as the Tamiya version, but still very, very good. Lots of buzz about how the two stack up, so here's my initial impression, with some pictures of the first issues I saw.

First things fiirst: Tamiya's surface detail is definitely nicer. Complete riveting (good on fuselage, not so much on wings?) finer lines and rivets. That said, the ZM lines are still in the same ballpark, and most panels and details I checked matched Tamiya's closely, so I am not yet seeing what some have said to be "inaccurate" surface detail


Shapes: Overall, the dimensions and shapes of the two kits are generally the same. Tail surfaces and wings are pretty much identical. The fuselages are hard to compare, as ZM's is made of so many parts, but all the features I could hold next to each other stopped and started in the same places. Some of the accessory parts vary, and here are side-by-side comparisons of the most obvious shape differences I saw. I truly don't know which are more accurate here, I'll leave that to the Mustang pros:

Inspection vents: ZM has true perforations, but also a surprising amount of flash for a new mold. The shape is a little shorter and wider than Tamiya


Chin scoop: Tamiya looks a little wider and narrower. The picture is a bit misleading, though: the shapes aren't too different, but the throat of the ZM scoop closes more quickly, making it look much smaller in the picture:


Belly scoop: here is one of the biggest shape differences. ZM is more pinched, and the bottom lip slopes constantly. I am not sure which is more accurate... opinions?


Rudder: ZM is a bit taller, but just a tiny amount. The surface detailing on the tamiya kit is far more intricate.


Spinner: To me, ZM's looks a little more "right." The shapes of the blade openings look better-- more of that figure 8-- and the spinner is a touch more rounded. It is also just a smidge greater in diameter at the base


Prop blades: Tamiya's are a hair longer, but ZM's are thinner and have a more graceful twist to them. From the front, Tamiya's trailing edge flairs a bit more, and ZM's leading edge does. Either would be an easy fix with a sanding stick. Here's three views





Detail parts: In my opinion, ZM did quite a few things better here: They provide full ammo bays if one wants to portray them empty,


and the .50 cals are complete, and are better detailed.


There is busier detail in the ZM landing gear bays, though each renders them somewhat differently
(Tamiya left, ZM right)

(Tamiya left, ZM right)-- note these ZM parts have surface detail on both sides. Tamiya's are plain on th backside

(Tamiya above, ZM below)


ZM has more complete engine wiring--in fact, the engine might be even better than Tamiyas, and is exactly the same size, so ZM apparantly didn't have to shrink it down to get it to fit. An inspection of the engine parts revealed a similar attention to detail. Here's just one shot, demonstrating a shape, size and detail similarity that is consistant through both entire assemblies:
(ZM left, Tamiya right)



Overall, the Tamiya cockpit is better detailed, here a sidewalls:
(ZM left, Tamiya right)

(Tamiya above, ZM below)


(Note that the cockpit dimensions are nearly identical, meaning it looks like any aftermarket stuff made for either should be interchangeable with some fiddling. I dry fit the Barracuda stuff and it looks like it will all work.)


The ZM cockpit has a few highlights: the rudder pedals have North American logos (you can read them)


and the cockpit floor actually opens up to the top of the wing, on which the stick is mounted, just like the real thing. Minor, but pretty impressive.
(Tamiya left, ZM right)


ZM seats above, Tamiya on the sprues below. Tamiya sports a thinner bucket. ZM's pad has convincing creases:


Also, the fuselage fuel tank has the top molded to represent the sagging rubber. Nice touch.
(Tamiya left, ZM right)




ZMs tires are molded plastic and look excellent. No Tamiya tires in this shot, you know what those rubber bad boys look like...


ZM engineered the belly scoop to fit together on the horizontal (bottom), which puts the internal seam right where it is on the real thing. Tamiya split theirs vertically (one side on top). Both have ejector pin marks and will require clean-up, but Tamiya will take a lot more work. Point to ZM for sure.


I've read a lot of criticism about ZM engineering parts that won't be visible, using the radiator plumbing that runs underneath the cockpit floor as a prime example. However you feel about it, it is one of the ambitiously molded parts I have ever seen. I hope these pictures do it justice:




The other thing that is promising about the ZM kit is-- due to their engineering choices-- they are MUCH closer to making a B/C version, and the position of many of the parts on the sprues suggest this might not be a coincidence. A new main wing (I looked for evidence of mold inserts around the guns and couldn't tell, but that might not mean they didn't use them-- and the inner leading edge are already a separate parts, so maybe they don't even need to retool the whole wing), new coaming, canopy, spine and tail (all currently on separate sprues) and they are 95% there. Let's hope...

In the meantime, curious to see what folks have to say about the ZM P-51D...
Last edited by Ferdico on July 15th, 2012, 7:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: August 23rd, 2004, 4:20 pm

July 15th, 2012, 4:50 am #2

Well done, clear photos tell the story on the design of the parts. Those out there who build the ZM kit will tell us know how all the parts fit.

Cheers and thanks again. Cannot wait for my kit to arrive in the mail.

Aloha,
Val
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Joined: September 7th, 2006, 2:03 am

July 15th, 2012, 9:40 am #3

My Zoukei-Mura P-51D arrived Friday, and it looks pretty much as I expected: not quite as nice as the Tamiya version, but still very, very good. Lots of buzz about how the two stack up, so here's my initial impression, with some pictures of the first issues I saw.

First things fiirst: Tamiya's surface detail is definitely nicer. Complete riveting (good on fuselage, not so much on wings?) finer lines and rivets. That said, the ZM lines are still in the same ballpark, and most panels and details I checked matched Tamiya's closely, so I am not yet seeing what some have said to be "inaccurate" surface detail


Shapes: Overall, the dimensions and shapes of the two kits are generally the same. Tail surfaces and wings are pretty much identical. The fuselages are hard to compare, as ZM's is made of so many parts, but all the features I could hold next to each other stopped and started in the same places. Some of the accessory parts vary, and here are side-by-side comparisons of the most obvious shape differences I saw. I truly don't know which are more accurate here, I'll leave that to the Mustang pros:

Inspection vents: ZM has true perforations, but also a surprising amount of flash for a new mold. The shape is a little shorter and wider than Tamiya


Chin scoop: Tamiya looks a little wider and narrower. The picture is a bit misleading, though: the shapes aren't too different, but the throat of the ZM scoop closes more quickly, making it look much smaller in the picture:


Belly scoop: here is one of the biggest shape differences. ZM is more pinched, and the bottom lip slopes constantly. I am not sure which is more accurate... opinions?


Rudder: ZM is a bit taller, but just a tiny amount. The surface detailing on the tamiya kit is far more intricate.


Spinner: To me, ZM's looks a little more "right." The shapes of the blade openings look better-- more of that figure 8-- and the spinner is a touch more rounded. It is also just a smidge greater in diameter at the base


Prop blades: Tamiya's are a hair longer, but ZM's are thinner and have a more graceful twist to them. From the front, Tamiya's trailing edge flairs a bit more, and ZM's leading edge does. Either would be an easy fix with a sanding stick. Here's three views





Detail parts: In my opinion, ZM did quite a few things better here: They provide full ammo bays if one wants to portray them empty,


and the .50 cals are complete, and are better detailed.


There is busier detail in the ZM landing gear bays, though each renders them somewhat differently
(Tamiya left, ZM right)

(Tamiya left, ZM right)-- note these ZM parts have surface detail on both sides. Tamiya's are plain on th backside

(Tamiya above, ZM below)


ZM has more complete engine wiring--in fact, the engine might be even better than Tamiyas, and is exactly the same size, so ZM apparantly didn't have to shrink it down to get it to fit. An inspection of the engine parts revealed a similar attention to detail. Here's just one shot, demonstrating a shape, size and detail similarity that is consistant through both entire assemblies:
(ZM left, Tamiya right)



Overall, the Tamiya cockpit is better detailed, here a sidewalls:
(ZM left, Tamiya right)

(Tamiya above, ZM below)


(Note that the cockpit dimensions are nearly identical, meaning it looks like any aftermarket stuff made for either should be interchangeable with some fiddling. I dry fit the Barracuda stuff and it looks like it will all work.)


The ZM cockpit has a few highlights: the rudder pedals have North American logos (you can read them)


and the cockpit floor actually opens up to the top of the wing, on which the stick is mounted, just like the real thing. Minor, but pretty impressive.
(Tamiya left, ZM right)


ZM seats above, Tamiya on the sprues below. Tamiya sports a thinner bucket. ZM's pad has convincing creases:


Also, the fuselage fuel tank has the top molded to represent the sagging rubber. Nice touch.
(Tamiya left, ZM right)




ZMs tires are molded plastic and look excellent. No Tamiya tires in this shot, you know what those rubber bad boys look like...


ZM engineered the belly scoop to fit together on the horizontal (bottom), which puts the internal seam right where it is on the real thing. Tamiya split theirs vertically (one side on top). Both have ejector pin marks and will require clean-up, but Tamiya will take a lot more work. Point to ZM for sure.


I've read a lot of criticism about ZM engineering parts that won't be visible, using the radiator plumbing that runs underneath the cockpit floor as a prime example. However you feel about it, it is one of the ambitiously molded parts I have ever seen. I hope these pictures do it justice:




The other thing that is promising about the ZM kit is-- due to their engineering choices-- they are MUCH closer to making a B/C version, and the position of many of the parts on the sprues suggest this might not be a coincidence. A new main wing (I looked for evidence of mold inserts around the guns and couldn't tell, but that might not mean they didn't use them-- and the inner leading edge are already a separate parts, so maybe they don't even need to retool the whole wing), new coaming, canopy, spine and tail (all currently on separate sprues) and they are 95% there. Let's hope...

In the meantime, curious to see what folks have to say about the ZM P-51D...
ZM are shooting for the heights! A few more ZM kits like this and Mr Tamiya-san may be looking to his engineers to show him another leap forwards.

All those nay-sayers should hold fire and remenber that this is only ZM's FOURTH kit...ever.(Tamiya have been in the business 40 plus years.)

What I find especially appealing about them is that you can see the 'love of the hobby' in a ZM kit.

Like Wingnuts in many ways. They are doing what THEY DARNED WELL WANT TO DO, and to heck with all the GRUMPY codgers moaning and whining about the lack of the 1/18 Fairley Stupid X-minus 5 Fruitbat AND ITS KIN in plastic.

And, darn it, it looks like that's another ZM kit going into my 1/32 scale collection ALONGSIDE my Tamiya Mustang!

(I already have the Shinden and the Ta152......)

and thanks for the photos, they sold me on getting the kit.

Brett

PS: Quick after-thought... Diorama builders (who like their planes to be in bits) will LOVE the ZM kit.
Last edited by Wurger41 on July 15th, 2012, 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 20th, 2007, 11:28 pm

July 15th, 2012, 10:17 am #4

My Zoukei-Mura P-51D arrived Friday, and it looks pretty much as I expected: not quite as nice as the Tamiya version, but still very, very good. Lots of buzz about how the two stack up, so here's my initial impression, with some pictures of the first issues I saw.

First things fiirst: Tamiya's surface detail is definitely nicer. Complete riveting (good on fuselage, not so much on wings?) finer lines and rivets. That said, the ZM lines are still in the same ballpark, and most panels and details I checked matched Tamiya's closely, so I am not yet seeing what some have said to be "inaccurate" surface detail


Shapes: Overall, the dimensions and shapes of the two kits are generally the same. Tail surfaces and wings are pretty much identical. The fuselages are hard to compare, as ZM's is made of so many parts, but all the features I could hold next to each other stopped and started in the same places. Some of the accessory parts vary, and here are side-by-side comparisons of the most obvious shape differences I saw. I truly don't know which are more accurate here, I'll leave that to the Mustang pros:

Inspection vents: ZM has true perforations, but also a surprising amount of flash for a new mold. The shape is a little shorter and wider than Tamiya


Chin scoop: Tamiya looks a little wider and narrower. The picture is a bit misleading, though: the shapes aren't too different, but the throat of the ZM scoop closes more quickly, making it look much smaller in the picture:


Belly scoop: here is one of the biggest shape differences. ZM is more pinched, and the bottom lip slopes constantly. I am not sure which is more accurate... opinions?


Rudder: ZM is a bit taller, but just a tiny amount. The surface detailing on the tamiya kit is far more intricate.


Spinner: To me, ZM's looks a little more "right." The shapes of the blade openings look better-- more of that figure 8-- and the spinner is a touch more rounded. It is also just a smidge greater in diameter at the base


Prop blades: Tamiya's are a hair longer, but ZM's are thinner and have a more graceful twist to them. From the front, Tamiya's trailing edge flairs a bit more, and ZM's leading edge does. Either would be an easy fix with a sanding stick. Here's three views





Detail parts: In my opinion, ZM did quite a few things better here: They provide full ammo bays if one wants to portray them empty,


and the .50 cals are complete, and are better detailed.


There is busier detail in the ZM landing gear bays, though each renders them somewhat differently
(Tamiya left, ZM right)

(Tamiya left, ZM right)-- note these ZM parts have surface detail on both sides. Tamiya's are plain on th backside

(Tamiya above, ZM below)


ZM has more complete engine wiring--in fact, the engine might be even better than Tamiyas, and is exactly the same size, so ZM apparantly didn't have to shrink it down to get it to fit. An inspection of the engine parts revealed a similar attention to detail. Here's just one shot, demonstrating a shape, size and detail similarity that is consistant through both entire assemblies:
(ZM left, Tamiya right)



Overall, the Tamiya cockpit is better detailed, here a sidewalls:
(ZM left, Tamiya right)

(Tamiya above, ZM below)


(Note that the cockpit dimensions are nearly identical, meaning it looks like any aftermarket stuff made for either should be interchangeable with some fiddling. I dry fit the Barracuda stuff and it looks like it will all work.)


The ZM cockpit has a few highlights: the rudder pedals have North American logos (you can read them)


and the cockpit floor actually opens up to the top of the wing, on which the stick is mounted, just like the real thing. Minor, but pretty impressive.
(Tamiya left, ZM right)


ZM seats above, Tamiya on the sprues below. Tamiya sports a thinner bucket. ZM's pad has convincing creases:


Also, the fuselage fuel tank has the top molded to represent the sagging rubber. Nice touch.
(Tamiya left, ZM right)




ZMs tires are molded plastic and look excellent. No Tamiya tires in this shot, you know what those rubber bad boys look like...


ZM engineered the belly scoop to fit together on the horizontal (bottom), which puts the internal seam right where it is on the real thing. Tamiya split theirs vertically (one side on top). Both have ejector pin marks and will require clean-up, but Tamiya will take a lot more work. Point to ZM for sure.


I've read a lot of criticism about ZM engineering parts that won't be visible, using the radiator plumbing that runs underneath the cockpit floor as a prime example. However you feel about it, it is one of the ambitiously molded parts I have ever seen. I hope these pictures do it justice:




The other thing that is promising about the ZM kit is-- due to their engineering choices-- they are MUCH closer to making a B/C version, and the position of many of the parts on the sprues suggest this might not be a coincidence. A new main wing (I looked for evidence of mold inserts around the guns and couldn't tell, but that might not mean they didn't use them-- and the inner leading edge are already a separate parts, so maybe they don't even need to retool the whole wing), new coaming, canopy, spine and tail (all currently on separate sprues) and they are 95% there. Let's hope...

In the meantime, curious to see what folks have to say about the ZM P-51D...
It is good to see side by side pictures of some of the Tamiya and Z-M Mustang parts.
My Z-M kit hasn't arrived yet but these confirm my first impressions, based on pictures already online and two builds started on the Scale Plastic & Rails forums.

I have a few comments about the pictures you posted, I'll just list them in the same order you did:

- Surface details: these are indeed much finer on the Tamiya kit.
The Z-M kit has a few oddly shaped access panels (panels for the fuel cell drains under the wings for example), there are also some missing panels and even made up details such as what looks like reinforcing plates under the radiator scoop.
Tamiya got it right down to the smallest detail.
It should also be mentioned (for both kits) that a few surface details evolved during production.

- Chin scoop, fairly close, but Tamiya captures the "smile" better.

- Radiator intake scoop, Tamiya again.

- Rudder, Tamiya wins again for size, shape (note the kink at the top) and details such as the tail light fairing.
The surface look better, more subdued on the Z-M kit.

- Spinners: the shape of the propeller blade openings is slightly off on both.
Tamiya nails the spinner's shape better, it isn't supposed to be "rounded".
I recommend Grey Matter/Jerry Rutman's corrected spinner for the Tamiya kit.

- Prop blades: here again, Tamiya has the better shape but Z-M has the advantage when it comes to thickness.

- Ammo & Gun bays: It is nice to have the empty ammo bay option offered by Z-M but the gun bays are more accurate on the Tamiya kit.

- .50 cals: I disagree, the Tamiya guns are more accurate just look at the electrical solenoid on the side of the gun, though oversimplified it is correctly sized and at the proper place, not so on the Z-M kit .
The Tamiya guns are simplified and (as with the rest of the Tamiya kit) are meant to look good once installed, not as stand alone parts.
To be fair both kits could be improved here.

- Wheel bay separation wall: Z-M's looks busier because, unlike Tamiya, they molded on some of the piping.
The details shown are better on the Tamiya kit but it's got some nasty ejection pin marks there.

- Main spar: notice how Tamiya correctly represents different rivet sizes, the part is more accurate.
When present in the Z-M kit (cockpit, wheel bays etc...) the raised rivets are way too heavy.

- Merlin: About two weeks ago I compared the built engines of both kits to pictures of the real thing, it is close but, again, Tamiya got some of the finer details better.

- Cockpit: Tamiya's is indeed better in every way.
It is nice to know that the Barracudacast sets might be a good fit for the Z-M kit.

- Pedals: Yes Z-M got the engraved NAA details but they missed the shape of the pedals, not Tamiya.

- Floor: No contest, again Tamiya wins hands down, the opening for the control stick is too wide on the Z-M kit, the fuel gauge openings are misshaped, the defroster and hot air control knobs are missing, the rivets on the floor are too big etc...

- WMA seat: Z-M missed the shape.

- Fuselage fuel cell: quite similar but Z-M has the advantage here for attempting to give a more realistic shape to the top part.
Sadly, this part is virtually invisible on a finished kit, Tamiya is more focused on the final result.

- Wheels: Z-M's are better.

- Radiator scoop: you missed the fact that Tamiya includes two inserts to be placed here, they allow you to build a radiator scoop with different exterior and interior volumes, like the real thing.

Conclusion:
These are jut a few chosen details and Tamiya is easily ahead.
The bottom line is simple; The Tamiya kit is better in every important way:
- It is more accurate in shape and details.
- It offers unique options allowing the modeler to build different production blocks, thus making it historically more accurate.
- The molding is just better and the fit is great.
- In the US it can be purchased for cheaper than the Z-M kit.

The Zoukei-Mura kit is a good Mustang kit, it's just way, way, way behind the Tamiya kit, their research just doesn't compare.
In the end, the best thing about the Z-M kit isn't the much talked about internal details, they are inaccurate, it is simply that it looks good when buttoned up.
That's why I ordered one.
Beyond that it's a matter of taste.

Christian A.
Christian A.
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Joined: December 6th, 2007, 4:06 am

July 15th, 2012, 2:45 pm #5

I realize there are some accuracy issues with that - but to me, it's still very impressive! I just hope that in their future kits, they give you access panels that are removeable so you could see all that internal detail after assembly. I'm hoping to eventually see a 1/32nd Skyraider from Tamiya so one could make similar comparisons. Imagine if Tamiya went for all that internal detail as well! I'd love too see the Tamiya Spad go even further moveable parts such as retracting gear and more moving control surfaces than the ZM kit.
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Joined: January 4th, 2007, 8:44 am

July 15th, 2012, 5:04 pm #6

It is good to see side by side pictures of some of the Tamiya and Z-M Mustang parts.
My Z-M kit hasn't arrived yet but these confirm my first impressions, based on pictures already online and two builds started on the Scale Plastic & Rails forums.

I have a few comments about the pictures you posted, I'll just list them in the same order you did:

- Surface details: these are indeed much finer on the Tamiya kit.
The Z-M kit has a few oddly shaped access panels (panels for the fuel cell drains under the wings for example), there are also some missing panels and even made up details such as what looks like reinforcing plates under the radiator scoop.
Tamiya got it right down to the smallest detail.
It should also be mentioned (for both kits) that a few surface details evolved during production.

- Chin scoop, fairly close, but Tamiya captures the "smile" better.

- Radiator intake scoop, Tamiya again.

- Rudder, Tamiya wins again for size, shape (note the kink at the top) and details such as the tail light fairing.
The surface look better, more subdued on the Z-M kit.

- Spinners: the shape of the propeller blade openings is slightly off on both.
Tamiya nails the spinner's shape better, it isn't supposed to be "rounded".
I recommend Grey Matter/Jerry Rutman's corrected spinner for the Tamiya kit.

- Prop blades: here again, Tamiya has the better shape but Z-M has the advantage when it comes to thickness.

- Ammo & Gun bays: It is nice to have the empty ammo bay option offered by Z-M but the gun bays are more accurate on the Tamiya kit.

- .50 cals: I disagree, the Tamiya guns are more accurate just look at the electrical solenoid on the side of the gun, though oversimplified it is correctly sized and at the proper place, not so on the Z-M kit .
The Tamiya guns are simplified and (as with the rest of the Tamiya kit) are meant to look good once installed, not as stand alone parts.
To be fair both kits could be improved here.

- Wheel bay separation wall: Z-M's looks busier because, unlike Tamiya, they molded on some of the piping.
The details shown are better on the Tamiya kit but it's got some nasty ejection pin marks there.

- Main spar: notice how Tamiya correctly represents different rivet sizes, the part is more accurate.
When present in the Z-M kit (cockpit, wheel bays etc...) the raised rivets are way too heavy.

- Merlin: About two weeks ago I compared the built engines of both kits to pictures of the real thing, it is close but, again, Tamiya got some of the finer details better.

- Cockpit: Tamiya's is indeed better in every way.
It is nice to know that the Barracudacast sets might be a good fit for the Z-M kit.

- Pedals: Yes Z-M got the engraved NAA details but they missed the shape of the pedals, not Tamiya.

- Floor: No contest, again Tamiya wins hands down, the opening for the control stick is too wide on the Z-M kit, the fuel gauge openings are misshaped, the defroster and hot air control knobs are missing, the rivets on the floor are too big etc...

- WMA seat: Z-M missed the shape.

- Fuselage fuel cell: quite similar but Z-M has the advantage here for attempting to give a more realistic shape to the top part.
Sadly, this part is virtually invisible on a finished kit, Tamiya is more focused on the final result.

- Wheels: Z-M's are better.

- Radiator scoop: you missed the fact that Tamiya includes two inserts to be placed here, they allow you to build a radiator scoop with different exterior and interior volumes, like the real thing.

Conclusion:
These are jut a few chosen details and Tamiya is easily ahead.
The bottom line is simple; The Tamiya kit is better in every important way:
- It is more accurate in shape and details.
- It offers unique options allowing the modeler to build different production blocks, thus making it historically more accurate.
- The molding is just better and the fit is great.
- In the US it can be purchased for cheaper than the Z-M kit.

The Zoukei-Mura kit is a good Mustang kit, it's just way, way, way behind the Tamiya kit, their research just doesn't compare.
In the end, the best thing about the Z-M kit isn't the much talked about internal details, they are inaccurate, it is simply that it looks good when buttoned up.
That's why I ordered one.
Beyond that it's a matter of taste.

Christian A.
Also, thanks to John for the great side by side images.

I've seen the ZM kit up close and it is a beautiful kit. If the Tamiya kit did not exist, it would be light years ahead of anything else out there. Unfortunately, they are going up against the crown jewel of the best kit producer in the world.

The thing that struck me on the ZM kit was that the screws and rivets were overscale, while the bolts on the engine were underscale or missing. The rocker covers either have no bolts on the sample I saw, or they were so small that I'd need my optivisors to see them.

The other thing is, for my way of thinking, the odd engineering and overly complex breakdown of parts. I've no interest in anything past the cockpit and possibly gunbays or engine. Everything else is just going to slow down the build. Its akin to the slog you have to go through to build Dragon armor kit.

I am building the SdKfz 10/4 in 35th scale. The model is less than 6 inches long and it has 656 parts! I have been picking away at this kit for what seems like forever, and its just dreary. The lousy instructions don't help things, but it just seems to me that less is more sometimes.

Happy Modelling! Roy
Visit my blog at:
http://barracudacals.blogspot.com

"What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. I think that's why they make straight jackets out of such sturdy material" Roy S.
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Joined: January 20th, 2007, 11:28 pm

July 15th, 2012, 6:48 pm #7

I realize there are some accuracy issues with that - but to me, it's still very impressive! I just hope that in their future kits, they give you access panels that are removeable so you could see all that internal detail after assembly. I'm hoping to eventually see a 1/32nd Skyraider from Tamiya so one could make similar comparisons. Imagine if Tamiya went for all that internal detail as well! I'd love too see the Tamiya Spad go even further moveable parts such as retracting gear and more moving control surfaces than the ZM kit.
Open access panels would have been a fun option.
Personally I would have preferred it to the structural parts of the Z-M kit.
I think it is a mistake to say the Z-M is more detailed than the Tamiya kit.
The Tamiya kit seems to have more parts and it offers more options with better details, just not the structural elements.

Christian A.
Christian A.
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Joined: January 27th, 2004, 10:53 pm

July 15th, 2012, 8:41 pm #8

My Zoukei-Mura P-51D arrived Friday, and it looks pretty much as I expected: not quite as nice as the Tamiya version, but still very, very good. Lots of buzz about how the two stack up, so here's my initial impression, with some pictures of the first issues I saw.

First things fiirst: Tamiya's surface detail is definitely nicer. Complete riveting (good on fuselage, not so much on wings?) finer lines and rivets. That said, the ZM lines are still in the same ballpark, and most panels and details I checked matched Tamiya's closely, so I am not yet seeing what some have said to be "inaccurate" surface detail


Shapes: Overall, the dimensions and shapes of the two kits are generally the same. Tail surfaces and wings are pretty much identical. The fuselages are hard to compare, as ZM's is made of so many parts, but all the features I could hold next to each other stopped and started in the same places. Some of the accessory parts vary, and here are side-by-side comparisons of the most obvious shape differences I saw. I truly don't know which are more accurate here, I'll leave that to the Mustang pros:

Inspection vents: ZM has true perforations, but also a surprising amount of flash for a new mold. The shape is a little shorter and wider than Tamiya


Chin scoop: Tamiya looks a little wider and narrower. The picture is a bit misleading, though: the shapes aren't too different, but the throat of the ZM scoop closes more quickly, making it look much smaller in the picture:


Belly scoop: here is one of the biggest shape differences. ZM is more pinched, and the bottom lip slopes constantly. I am not sure which is more accurate... opinions?


Rudder: ZM is a bit taller, but just a tiny amount. The surface detailing on the tamiya kit is far more intricate.


Spinner: To me, ZM's looks a little more "right." The shapes of the blade openings look better-- more of that figure 8-- and the spinner is a touch more rounded. It is also just a smidge greater in diameter at the base


Prop blades: Tamiya's are a hair longer, but ZM's are thinner and have a more graceful twist to them. From the front, Tamiya's trailing edge flairs a bit more, and ZM's leading edge does. Either would be an easy fix with a sanding stick. Here's three views





Detail parts: In my opinion, ZM did quite a few things better here: They provide full ammo bays if one wants to portray them empty,


and the .50 cals are complete, and are better detailed.


There is busier detail in the ZM landing gear bays, though each renders them somewhat differently
(Tamiya left, ZM right)

(Tamiya left, ZM right)-- note these ZM parts have surface detail on both sides. Tamiya's are plain on th backside

(Tamiya above, ZM below)


ZM has more complete engine wiring--in fact, the engine might be even better than Tamiyas, and is exactly the same size, so ZM apparantly didn't have to shrink it down to get it to fit. An inspection of the engine parts revealed a similar attention to detail. Here's just one shot, demonstrating a shape, size and detail similarity that is consistant through both entire assemblies:
(ZM left, Tamiya right)



Overall, the Tamiya cockpit is better detailed, here a sidewalls:
(ZM left, Tamiya right)

(Tamiya above, ZM below)


(Note that the cockpit dimensions are nearly identical, meaning it looks like any aftermarket stuff made for either should be interchangeable with some fiddling. I dry fit the Barracuda stuff and it looks like it will all work.)


The ZM cockpit has a few highlights: the rudder pedals have North American logos (you can read them)


and the cockpit floor actually opens up to the top of the wing, on which the stick is mounted, just like the real thing. Minor, but pretty impressive.
(Tamiya left, ZM right)


ZM seats above, Tamiya on the sprues below. Tamiya sports a thinner bucket. ZM's pad has convincing creases:


Also, the fuselage fuel tank has the top molded to represent the sagging rubber. Nice touch.
(Tamiya left, ZM right)




ZMs tires are molded plastic and look excellent. No Tamiya tires in this shot, you know what those rubber bad boys look like...


ZM engineered the belly scoop to fit together on the horizontal (bottom), which puts the internal seam right where it is on the real thing. Tamiya split theirs vertically (one side on top). Both have ejector pin marks and will require clean-up, but Tamiya will take a lot more work. Point to ZM for sure.


I've read a lot of criticism about ZM engineering parts that won't be visible, using the radiator plumbing that runs underneath the cockpit floor as a prime example. However you feel about it, it is one of the ambitiously molded parts I have ever seen. I hope these pictures do it justice:




The other thing that is promising about the ZM kit is-- due to their engineering choices-- they are MUCH closer to making a B/C version, and the position of many of the parts on the sprues suggest this might not be a coincidence. A new main wing (I looked for evidence of mold inserts around the guns and couldn't tell, but that might not mean they didn't use them-- and the inner leading edge are already a separate parts, so maybe they don't even need to retool the whole wing), new coaming, canopy, spine and tail (all currently on separate sprues) and they are 95% there. Let's hope...

In the meantime, curious to see what folks have to say about the ZM P-51D...
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Joined: February 25th, 2012, 1:39 am

July 15th, 2012, 11:14 pm #9

It is good to see side by side pictures of some of the Tamiya and Z-M Mustang parts.
My Z-M kit hasn't arrived yet but these confirm my first impressions, based on pictures already online and two builds started on the Scale Plastic & Rails forums.

I have a few comments about the pictures you posted, I'll just list them in the same order you did:

- Surface details: these are indeed much finer on the Tamiya kit.
The Z-M kit has a few oddly shaped access panels (panels for the fuel cell drains under the wings for example), there are also some missing panels and even made up details such as what looks like reinforcing plates under the radiator scoop.
Tamiya got it right down to the smallest detail.
It should also be mentioned (for both kits) that a few surface details evolved during production.

- Chin scoop, fairly close, but Tamiya captures the "smile" better.

- Radiator intake scoop, Tamiya again.

- Rudder, Tamiya wins again for size, shape (note the kink at the top) and details such as the tail light fairing.
The surface look better, more subdued on the Z-M kit.

- Spinners: the shape of the propeller blade openings is slightly off on both.
Tamiya nails the spinner's shape better, it isn't supposed to be "rounded".
I recommend Grey Matter/Jerry Rutman's corrected spinner for the Tamiya kit.

- Prop blades: here again, Tamiya has the better shape but Z-M has the advantage when it comes to thickness.

- Ammo & Gun bays: It is nice to have the empty ammo bay option offered by Z-M but the gun bays are more accurate on the Tamiya kit.

- .50 cals: I disagree, the Tamiya guns are more accurate just look at the electrical solenoid on the side of the gun, though oversimplified it is correctly sized and at the proper place, not so on the Z-M kit .
The Tamiya guns are simplified and (as with the rest of the Tamiya kit) are meant to look good once installed, not as stand alone parts.
To be fair both kits could be improved here.

- Wheel bay separation wall: Z-M's looks busier because, unlike Tamiya, they molded on some of the piping.
The details shown are better on the Tamiya kit but it's got some nasty ejection pin marks there.

- Main spar: notice how Tamiya correctly represents different rivet sizes, the part is more accurate.
When present in the Z-M kit (cockpit, wheel bays etc...) the raised rivets are way too heavy.

- Merlin: About two weeks ago I compared the built engines of both kits to pictures of the real thing, it is close but, again, Tamiya got some of the finer details better.

- Cockpit: Tamiya's is indeed better in every way.
It is nice to know that the Barracudacast sets might be a good fit for the Z-M kit.

- Pedals: Yes Z-M got the engraved NAA details but they missed the shape of the pedals, not Tamiya.

- Floor: No contest, again Tamiya wins hands down, the opening for the control stick is too wide on the Z-M kit, the fuel gauge openings are misshaped, the defroster and hot air control knobs are missing, the rivets on the floor are too big etc...

- WMA seat: Z-M missed the shape.

- Fuselage fuel cell: quite similar but Z-M has the advantage here for attempting to give a more realistic shape to the top part.
Sadly, this part is virtually invisible on a finished kit, Tamiya is more focused on the final result.

- Wheels: Z-M's are better.

- Radiator scoop: you missed the fact that Tamiya includes two inserts to be placed here, they allow you to build a radiator scoop with different exterior and interior volumes, like the real thing.

Conclusion:
These are jut a few chosen details and Tamiya is easily ahead.
The bottom line is simple; The Tamiya kit is better in every important way:
- It is more accurate in shape and details.
- It offers unique options allowing the modeler to build different production blocks, thus making it historically more accurate.
- The molding is just better and the fit is great.
- In the US it can be purchased for cheaper than the Z-M kit.

The Zoukei-Mura kit is a good Mustang kit, it's just way, way, way behind the Tamiya kit, their research just doesn't compare.
In the end, the best thing about the Z-M kit isn't the much talked about internal details, they are inaccurate, it is simply that it looks good when buttoned up.
That's why I ordered one.
Beyond that it's a matter of taste.

Christian A.
Christian is right, there are internal parts that split on the natural panel line, just like the ZM parts, and they won't need any clean up at all. After further review, Tamiya gets the point, and Christian will not be charged a timeout.
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Joined: September 7th, 2006, 2:03 am

July 16th, 2012, 12:37 am #10

It is good to see side by side pictures of some of the Tamiya and Z-M Mustang parts.
My Z-M kit hasn't arrived yet but these confirm my first impressions, based on pictures already online and two builds started on the Scale Plastic & Rails forums.

I have a few comments about the pictures you posted, I'll just list them in the same order you did:

- Surface details: these are indeed much finer on the Tamiya kit.
The Z-M kit has a few oddly shaped access panels (panels for the fuel cell drains under the wings for example), there are also some missing panels and even made up details such as what looks like reinforcing plates under the radiator scoop.
Tamiya got it right down to the smallest detail.
It should also be mentioned (for both kits) that a few surface details evolved during production.

- Chin scoop, fairly close, but Tamiya captures the "smile" better.

- Radiator intake scoop, Tamiya again.

- Rudder, Tamiya wins again for size, shape (note the kink at the top) and details such as the tail light fairing.
The surface look better, more subdued on the Z-M kit.

- Spinners: the shape of the propeller blade openings is slightly off on both.
Tamiya nails the spinner's shape better, it isn't supposed to be "rounded".
I recommend Grey Matter/Jerry Rutman's corrected spinner for the Tamiya kit.

- Prop blades: here again, Tamiya has the better shape but Z-M has the advantage when it comes to thickness.

- Ammo & Gun bays: It is nice to have the empty ammo bay option offered by Z-M but the gun bays are more accurate on the Tamiya kit.

- .50 cals: I disagree, the Tamiya guns are more accurate just look at the electrical solenoid on the side of the gun, though oversimplified it is correctly sized and at the proper place, not so on the Z-M kit .
The Tamiya guns are simplified and (as with the rest of the Tamiya kit) are meant to look good once installed, not as stand alone parts.
To be fair both kits could be improved here.

- Wheel bay separation wall: Z-M's looks busier because, unlike Tamiya, they molded on some of the piping.
The details shown are better on the Tamiya kit but it's got some nasty ejection pin marks there.

- Main spar: notice how Tamiya correctly represents different rivet sizes, the part is more accurate.
When present in the Z-M kit (cockpit, wheel bays etc...) the raised rivets are way too heavy.

- Merlin: About two weeks ago I compared the built engines of both kits to pictures of the real thing, it is close but, again, Tamiya got some of the finer details better.

- Cockpit: Tamiya's is indeed better in every way.
It is nice to know that the Barracudacast sets might be a good fit for the Z-M kit.

- Pedals: Yes Z-M got the engraved NAA details but they missed the shape of the pedals, not Tamiya.

- Floor: No contest, again Tamiya wins hands down, the opening for the control stick is too wide on the Z-M kit, the fuel gauge openings are misshaped, the defroster and hot air control knobs are missing, the rivets on the floor are too big etc...

- WMA seat: Z-M missed the shape.

- Fuselage fuel cell: quite similar but Z-M has the advantage here for attempting to give a more realistic shape to the top part.
Sadly, this part is virtually invisible on a finished kit, Tamiya is more focused on the final result.

- Wheels: Z-M's are better.

- Radiator scoop: you missed the fact that Tamiya includes two inserts to be placed here, they allow you to build a radiator scoop with different exterior and interior volumes, like the real thing.

Conclusion:
These are jut a few chosen details and Tamiya is easily ahead.
The bottom line is simple; The Tamiya kit is better in every important way:
- It is more accurate in shape and details.
- It offers unique options allowing the modeler to build different production blocks, thus making it historically more accurate.
- The molding is just better and the fit is great.
- In the US it can be purchased for cheaper than the Z-M kit.

The Zoukei-Mura kit is a good Mustang kit, it's just way, way, way behind the Tamiya kit, their research just doesn't compare.
In the end, the best thing about the Z-M kit isn't the much talked about internal details, they are inaccurate, it is simply that it looks good when buttoned up.
That's why I ordered one.
Beyond that it's a matter of taste.

Christian A.
...some of them aren't so much "research" flaws as they are "Prototype differences"

By that I mean that the two teams may have used different full size examples for their "prototyping" with all the risks of restoring attendant.
(Remember Tamiy's Mk 1 meteor?)

Its entirely possible that the ZM team used a restored (or ex-racing) 'stang and that may account for some of the oddities (different bolts/rivets) seen in the final kit. Given a Mustang has in excess of 100,000 individual parts they probably missed the more subtle differences between drawings and their own info on hand.

One point about the Inner gear doors by Tamiya is that they have another -detailed- cover piece that will hide the Ejector marks completely.

Small RANT inserted here... mode on

What steams my biscuit is the torrents of what amounts to abuse (much of it on these forums) because they (ZM) did NOT make a PERFECT kit. (And Tamiya's IS better in some ways.) Which entirely misses the point. Less than 2 years ago there were HOWLS of righteous indignation that there was not a single, accurate P51D kit on the Market. Now we have TWO almost entirely accurate kits of it, and they STILL scream foul and blue murder!

Honestly, you'd think some of the moaners were two years old, not (allegedly) adults!

ZM deserve all the ENCOURAGEMENT they can get. Each kit they do seems to get better and better. But all they seem get is complaints and petulance.
'GTFU' People!! No-one is FORCING you to buy ZM...or Tamiya. Or any other brand. You CHOOSE. And so do I, And I will CHOOSE to buy a ZM kit, to go with the Tamiya kit I have CHOSEN to buy already!

Or is your REAL objection that it WASN'T done in the US of A? BECAUSE that's the implication I sometimes read into comments posted here..."It's not Revellogram or AMT or Aurora or (insert any other second-rate US company here) so I don't wanna know! (waaah!, drums heels on ground)"

Sorry, rant mode off now....

Brett.


Brett
Last edited by Wurger41 on July 16th, 2012, 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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